Autism spectrum disorder  is a multifaceted developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate, and interact with others. There is no known single cause of autism. There are several behaviors associated with autism that an individual may experience including delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities.  Early intervention and access to appropriate services and/or supports have been documented to positively contribute to many individual's successful outcomes. 


Autism Spectrum Disorders typically appear during the first three years of life. There are no medical tests for diagnosing Autism. So if you are concerned about developmental delays in your child(ren) consult with your child's doctor. Here are some of the early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorders (this list is not exhaustive):

  1. No social smiling by 6 months;
  2. Poor eye contact;
  3. No babbling, pointing, or meaningful gestures by 12 months;
  4. Loss of skills at any time;
  5. No one-word communication by 16 months;
  6. Not showing items or sharing interests;
  7. No two-word phrases by 24 months; 
  8. Unusual attachment to one particular toy or object; and
  9. Not responding to sounds.

Here are some great resources:

Asperger Works. This program assist adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders with employment. 

Autism Eats. This program provides information on autism-friendly non-judgmental environments for family dining and socialization.

Autism Insurance Resource Center. This program provides information on issues related to insurance coverage for Autism related treatments and services. 

Autism Support Center at Northeast Arc. The center providses information and support for families of people with Autism, including a paretn support group. 


When was the last time your child's IEP had a check-up?

To meet its substantive obligation under the IDEA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.
— Chief Justice John Roberts, U.S. Supreme Court decision, Endrew F. v. Douglas County Schools, March 22, 2017.

What is an IEP?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that public schools create an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for every child receiving special educations services. The IEP is meant to address each child’s individual and unique learning issues and include specific educational goals. It is a contract, so it is a legally binding document. The school must provide everything it promises in the IEP to the student.  

What must an IEP include, by law:

By law, the IEP must include certain information about the child and the educational program designed to meet his or her unique needs. Here is a brief overview of what this information is:

Current performance. The IEP must state how the child is currently doing in school. This statement is based on data obtained from classroom tests and assignments, individual tests given to decide eligibility for services or during reevaluation, and observations made by parents, teachers, related service providers, and other school staff. The statement about "current performance" should explain how the child's disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum.

Annual goals. These are goals that the child can reasonably accomplish in a year. The goals are broken down into short-term objectives called benchmarks. Goals may be academic, address social or behavioral needs, relate to physical needs, or address other educational needs. The goals must be measurable-meaning that it should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Special education and related services. The IEP must list the special education and related services to be provided to the child or on behalf of the child. This includes supplementary aids and services that the child needs. It also includes modifications or changes to the program or supports for school personnel-such as training or professional development-that will be provided to assist the child.

Dates and places. The IEP must state when services will begin, how often they will be provided, where they will be provided, and how long they will last. This information is often broken down on a ‘service grid.’

Measuring progress. The IEP must state how the child's progress will be measured and how parents will be informed of that progress.

The IEP must also address the following areas/topics:

  • Participation with non-disabled children
  • Participation in state and district-wide tests
  • Transition service needs
  • Needed transition services
  • Age of majority

The IEP and your child:

The IEP should not be identical year in and year out. It should reflect where the child is currently. Goals should be reviewed and changed as the child’s needs and achievements change. This is usually done once a year at the Annual Team Meeting but if you believe the IEP is no longer addressing your child’s needs, you may request a Team Meeting sooner.

What can E.M. Curran & Associates LLC do for you and your child(ren)? 

After an initial consultation, we will perform an in-depth review of your child's most current IEP as well as the past two years’ worth of IEPs, any and all current school or independent evaluations, as well as any other significant records/reports/etc.

We will then schedule either a meeting, either in person or telephonic; whichever is most convenient for you to discuss our findings and recommendations. The cost of this service is dependent upon the age of your child and the amount of materials that need to be reviewed. 

Contact Attorney Curran to see how we may be able to help you:

10 Tower Office Park
Suite 406
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone: 781-933-1542
Fax: 781-933-1549